gullbuy music review





Family Recordings

various artists 3xCD

12inch 80s 2 CD coverThe ability to re-evaluate the past is one of the greatest gifts a fan of music can be given. Music that repulsed you when first released may become your favorite when re-examined years later.

12"/80s/2 is a 3 disc set of 12inch remixes by 80s rock bands flirting with dance music. Just a few years after Steve Dahl's anti-disco army exploded thousands of disco records in Chicago's Komishi Park on July 12th 1979 signalling the end of disco in the US, UK rock bands were releasing disco 12inch singles in droves.

Many of the tracks of this set are far closer to disco than the rock that the bands usually play, though some tracks truly are just extended mixes of the original rock track. Is there something of value to find in re-examing these 12inch single artifacts? Yes, in many cases there is. Some of the tracks on this set are pretty great sounding. The example that comes to mind is Aztec Camera Oblivious. who could picture the acoustic guitar-fronted band getting a dance treatment, yet it DOES work.

Some of the tracks you may not enjoy hearing even after all these years are Culture Club I'll Tumble 4 Ya, Duran Duran The Reflex or Thompson Twins Love On Your Side. However, you may end up taking guilty pleasure in Style Council Long Hot Summer, ABC When Smokey sings or even Frankie Goes To Hollywood Two Tribes - each sound pretty fine on this set.

The songs you may love even if hearing for the first time are Tom Tom Club Genius Of Love, Kid Creole & The Coconuts Annie I'm Not Your Daddy, Pigbag Papa's Got a Brand New Pigbag and Yello The Race. Each are fantastic, and could have come out this year or two decades ago.

The Heaven 17 song Penthouse and Pavement was a track I didn't really remember, and like quite a bit on this comp. Harold Faltermeyer Axel F is a song I completely knew the melody to, but never had concsiously listened to until this comp.

The mixes are what make this set fly. You would not believe what a good mix could do until you hear INXS Need You Tonight. That sound is so tired at this point, but it sounds GREAT in the version offered here.

Hue & Cry, Belouis Some, Animal Nightlife, Swanway and Shinehead are names new to me, but each offer pretty fine tracks on this set. The Swansway track is pretty good, with backing vocals that sound more like Souxsie than the Souxsie late period Peek a Boo track does. The Shinehead track has everything from disco party percussion, to rap, to a flute solo, to a section with the melody from The Tokens The Lion Sleeps Tonight.

It would be easy to dismiss this set by looking at the track listing and rolling your eyes with dreadful memories, but for anyone willing to give it a listen, there will be many moments of joy.

Disc 1: 2,5,7
Disc 2: 1,6
Disc 3: 1,7,8,11

---Carl, August 30, 2005